A few remarks on the history of cardiac surgery

Authors: R. Čerbák
Authors‘ workplace: Centrum kardiovaskulární a transplantační chirurgie v Brně
Published in: Kardiol Rev Int Med 2013, 15(3): 168-171


The landmark operation – the suture of a stab wound into the muscle of the right ventricle, performed by Ludwig Rehn of Frankfurt am Main on September 10th, 1896, is considered as the beginning of cardiac surgery. The first attempts for surgical treatment of heart diseases began on the closed heart – commisurolysis of mitral stenosis and ligatures of patent ductus arteriosus. Later, there was an urge to perform surgery on the open heart. The cardiac arrest, which is necessary for the heart disease correction, could take a maximum of 4–5 mins. Surgery in hypothermia was the next step – they prolonged the possibility of cardiac arrest for up to 10 mins. Extracorporeal circulation, established by Gibbon in 1953, finally allowed extensive surgery. Christian Barnard transplanted the first heart in 1967. In the Czech Republic there are currently 12 cardiac surgery centres that annually perform almost 10,000 surgical procedures on the heart.

successful cardiorrhaphy – cross-circulation – extracorporeal circulation


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Paediatric cardiology Internal medicine Cardiac surgery Cardiology
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